World is Consumed by Hidden Fire

The Gurmat Giaan or Wisdom of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS) compares this material world (Jagat, Sansaar) with a Jungle!

Furthermore, the Gurbani tells us this world-jungle is burning! Consequently, there is chaos and confusion in the lives of those who live in this burning world-jungle, resulting in Dukh.

  • ਬਾਰਿ ਵਿਡਾਨੜੈ ਹੁੰਮਸ ਧੁੰਮਸ ਕੂਕਾ ਪਈਆ ਰਾਹੀ ॥ ਤਉ ਸਹ ਸੇਤੀ ਲਗੜੀ ਡੋਰੀ ਨਾਨਕ ਅਨਦ ਸੇਤੀ ਬਨੁ ਗਾਹੀ ॥੧॥ : In this alien forest (of the world – ਸੰਸਾਰ-ਰੂਪ ਬਿਗਾਨੀ ਜੂਹ), there is Hummas (chaos, tumult, the heat from the fire of Mayaic desires…) and Dhummas (confusion…); shrieks (ਚੀਕ ਚਿਹਾੜਾ, ਪੁਕਾਰਾਂ, ਦੁਹਾਈ…) resound from this path (of Maya…). (But) O Beloved (O Prabhoo, I) Nanak is in love with You, (consequently, I am) going across (this world-) jungle Blissfully (ਆਤਮਕ ਆਨੰਦ ਨਾਲ). ||1|| (sggs 520).
  • ਨਾਨਕ ਦੁਖੀਆ ਸਭੁ ਸੰਸਾਰੁ ॥: O Nanak! The whole world is suffering (sggs 954).

However, we are told by the Gurbani that this fire is hidden (‘Gujhee-ਗੁਝੀ’) — concealed, latent, mysterious, secret, subtle, smoldering within…

  • ਗੂਝੀ ਭਾਹਿ ਜਲੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ਭਗਤ ਨ ਬਿਆਪੈ ਮਾਇਆ ॥੪॥: The world is being consumed by this (Maya’s) hidden fire, but Maya does not cling to the Bhagat. ||4|| (sggs 673).
  • ਕਿਝੁ ਨ ਬੁਝੈ ਕਿਝੁ ਨ ਸੁਝੈ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਗੁਝੀ ਭਾਹਿ ॥: The world is a hidden fire (which burns in the mind; beings inflicted with this fire) have no understanding (of the true or spiritual Way of life). (sggs 1378).

What is this fire, which remains hidden but continues to smolder, within?

This fire is created within by the false ego-sense (Haumai), ignorance, doubts, the hunger for Maya , Bikaar (lust, anger, greed, attachment, pride), etc.

  • ਮਾਇਆ ਅਗਨਿ ਜਲੈ ਸੰਸਾਰੇ ॥: The world is burning in the fire of Maya (hunger or love of Maya…). (sggs 1049).
  • ਤਿਸਨਾ ਅਗਨਿ ਜਲੈ ਸੰਸਾਰਾ ॥: The world is burning in the fire of desire (sggs 120).
  • ਦੁਰਮਤਿ ਅਗਨਿ ਜਗਤ ਪਰਜਾਰੈ ॥: The fire of corrupt thinking (wickedness, ignorance, foolishness…) is burning up the world (sggs 225).
  • ਮਨਮੁਖ ਮੂੜ੍ਹ੍ਹ ਜਲਤ ਅਹੰਕਾਰੀ ਹਉਮੈ ਵਿਚਿ ਦੁਖੁ ਪਾਈ ॥: The foolish Manmukh burns in the fire of pride; and suffers in egotism (Haumai). (sggs 1265).

Called in the Gurbani by various names such as ‘Mahabali’ (i.e, of great power or strength etc.), ‘Panj Doot’, ‘Panj Mahaabalee’, ‘Chor-thieves’, etc., the negative impact of these Bikaar (lust, anger, greed etc.) are the ailments of the conditioned or the outgoing mind — faults or defects of the false ego-sense (Haumai).

They instigate problems in an individual’s life in the world. They disappear when the negative impact of the false ego-sense (Haumai) has disappeared. Also, they all rush back in marching with the rise of the delusion or psychological egotism in the individual’s mind. In nutshell, it is the result of one’s forgetfulness of his True Nature (i.e.  Jot Saroop).

These powerful ‘five thieves’ continually loot one’s Spiritual Wealth (Naam, Wisdom, Spiritual Life etc.).

  • ਪੰਜੇ ਬਧੇ ਮਹਾਬਲੀ ਕਰਿ ਸਚਾ ਢੋਆ ॥: (Who has) obtained the True Support (of Naam, Giaan or Wisdom), has chained the five ‘Mahabal’ (sggs 1193).
  • ਕਾਮ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਮਦ ਲੋਭ ਮੋਹ ਦੁਸਟ ਬਾਸਨਾ ਨਿਵਾਰਿ ॥: (O ‘Prabh’! From within me) take away the evil ‘Baasanaa’ (tendencies…) of lust, anger, pride, greed, and attachment (sggs 523).
  • ਇਸੁ ਦੇਹੀ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਪੰਚ ਚੋਰ ਵਸਹਿ ਕਾਮੁ ਕ੍ਰੋਧੁ ਲੋਭੁ ਮੋਹੁ ਅਹੰਕਾਰਾ ॥ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਲੂਟਹਿ ਮਨਮੁਖ ਨਹੀ ਬੂਝਹਿ ਕੋਇ ਨ ਸੁਣੈ ਪੂਕਾਰਾ ॥: Within this body dwell the five thieves: lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride. They plunder the Amrit (-Naam, Virtues, Wisdom, etc., from within the body), but the Manmukhs do not realize it; (but once they are plundered, and so suffer, then…) no one hears their cry shout (i.e., then no one can help them). (sggs 600).
  • ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਨਾਮੁ ਵਿਸਾਰਿਆ ਕੂੜੇ ਕਹਣ ਕਹੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥ ਪੰਚ ਚੋਰ ਤਿਨਾ ਘਰੁ ਮੁਹਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਅੰਦਰਿ ਸੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥ ਸਾਕਤ ਮੁਠੇ ਦੁਰਮਤੀ ਹਰਿ ਰਸੁ ਨ ਜਾਣੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥ ਜਿਨ੍ਹ੍ਹੀ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਭਰਮਿ ਲੁਟਾਇਆ ਬਿਖੁ ਸਿਉ ਰਚਹਿ ਰਚੰਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ॥: (Persons) who have forgotten Naam (i.e., Giaan or Wisdom) always talk trash (i.e., about stuff that’s perishable, false, fleeting, useless, etc.). The five thieves (i.e., lust anger, greed, etc.) keep looting their Inner Home, and Haumai (false ego-sense) continuously burglarize their Inner Home. Saakat (in the hands of these thieves) are plundered, they do not know the taste of the Naam. (Persons) who have been robbed of their Amrit (Giaan or Wisdom…) though doubt (-ridden or wandering mind) remain in love with the poison (of Maya which destroys their spiritual life). (sggs 854).

The Gurbani indicates that so long the negative impact of the egotism and related Bikaar dwell in the mind, the Divine Knowledge (Aatam Giaan..) or Virtues will not flower within.

  • ਜਬ ਲਗੁ ਸਿੰਘੁ ਰਹੈ ਬਨ ਮਾਹਿ ॥ ਤਬ ਲਗੁ ਬਨੁ ਫੂਲੈ ਹੀ ਨਾਹਿ ॥ ਜਬ ਹੀ ਸਿਆਰੁ ਸਿੰਘ ਕਉ ਖਾਇ ॥ ਫੂਲਿ ਰਹੀ ਸਗਲੀ ਬਨਰਾਇ ॥੨॥: As long as the lion (of ego or Haumai – lust, anger, greed, attachment, and pride…) lives in the forest (of the body), the forest (of the body) does not flower (with Giaan, Divine Knowledge, Virtues…). But when the jackal (i.e., ਨਿਮ੍ਰਤਾ, humility, Giaan, Divine Knowledge…) eats the lion (of the ego or Haumai), then the entire forest flowers. ||2|| (sggs 1161).

The fire produced by the ‘five thieves’ brings man down to the animal nature. These are the negative pulls of human nature. The destructive nature of these negative pulls keep the mind in illusion, confused, doubt-ridden, ignorant of its Mool or its True Nature (Jot Saroop).

  • ਸੂਤਕੁ ਅਗਨਿ ਭਖੈ ਜਗੁ ਖਾਇ ॥: The world is consumed by the fire of Sootak (impurity). (sggs 413).
  • ਕਲਜੁਗਿ ਰਥੁ ਅਗਨਿ ਕਾ ਕੂੜੁ ਅਗੈ ਰਥਵਾਹੁ ॥੧॥: Kaljugi is the chariot of fire, and falsehood is the charioteer ||1|| (sggs 470).

The Gurbani says patience (i.e., composure, solace, tranquility, Sahaj, ਮਨ ਦਾ ਟਿਕਾਉ…) cannot be kept or sustained in the mind so long these major fires of Bikaar are burning within.

  • ਅੰਤਰਿ ਪੰਚ ਅਗਨਿ ਕਿਉ ਧੀਰਜੁ ਧੀਜੈ ॥: As long as the fire of the ‘five’ (lust, anger, greed, etc.) is burning within, the mind cannot be patient. (sggs 905).

Therefore, the Gurbani’s urges us to pour the cooling Water of Naam (Giaan or Wisdom) on the fire of these ‘five‘.

  • ਆਤਸ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਖੁਨਕ ਨਾਮੁ ਖੁਦਾਇਆ ॥੨॥: The world is (like) fire; the Naam is cooling. ||2|| (sggs 1291).
  • ਕਬੀਰ ਮਨੁ ਸੀਤਲੁ ਭਇਆ ਪਾਇਆ ਬ੍ਰਹਮ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥ ਜਿਨਿ ਜੁਆਲਾ ਜਗੁ ਜਾਰਿਆ ਸੁ ਜਨ ਕੇ ਉਦਕ ਸਮਾਨਿ ॥੧੭੫॥: O Kabeer! (One who has) obtained Brahm Giaan (Spiritual Knowledge, his) mind remains cool (stable, intuitively balanced, devoid of hunger for Maya or Bikaar – lust, etc.). The fire which has burnt the world is (cold) like water to the ‘Jan’ (Bhagat, Daas, Gurmukh…). (sggs 1373).

In nutshell, as when the wind blows away the clouds and the sun is seen clearly again, similarly, when the breeze of pure Divine knowledge (Brahm-Giaan obtained through churning the Gurbani via Shabad-Vichaar…) puts out the hidden fire within the mind and blows away the mental impurities (inner garbage).

  • ਕੂਅਟਾ ਏਕੁ ਪੰਚ ਪਨਿਹਾਰੀ ॥ ਟੂਟੀ ਲਾਜੁ ਭਰੈ ਮਤਿ ਹਾਰੀ ॥੩॥ ਕਹੁ ਕਬੀਰ ਇਕ ਬੁਧਿ ਬੀਚਾਰੀ ॥ ਨਾ ਓਹੁ ਕੂਅਟਾ ਨਾ ਪਨਿਹਾਰੀ ॥੪॥੧੨॥ : The body is (like) a well, the five senses of cognition are (like) five water-carriers (Panihari: which in their own way pull and deplete Wisdom, Virtues, etc.) out of this well of the body. The rope is broken (i.e., Durmat, broken intellect, lack of Wisdom…). Even with broken rope the silly water-carriers (senses) continue drawing water (i.e., constantly working on this body-well for sense-gratification but its all in vain just as one’s efforts to draw water from a well with a broken rope). O Kabir! Say- (when) the Intellect Awakens through Beechaar, since then there is neither well (of menacing body-consciousness) nor the water-carriers (i.e., the senses along with their sensuous demands that attract toward Bikaar). ||4||12|| (sggs 325).


  1. Thanks Veer Ji for taking the time to respond.

    Haumai is being refered as a ROG

    You are correct – in addition to other things, the Gurbani referred Haumai as “Rog” (disease…).

    Haumai is being refered as a ROG as a separate and different from a fire.

    The Gurbani ALSO referred to Haumai as “fire” as well, which, according to the Gurbani, can be put out by becoming a Gurmukh!
    • ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਹਉਮੈ ਅਗਨਿ ਨਿਵਾਰੀ ॥: The Gurmukh puts out the fire of egotism (sggs 943).
    • ਗੁਰਿ ਮਿਲਿਐ ਹਮ ਕਉ ਸਰੀਰ ਸੁਧਿ ਭਈ ॥  ਹਉਮੈ ਤ੍ਰਿਸਨਾ ਸਭ ਅਗਨਿ ਬੁਝਈ ॥ (sggs 233).
    • ਜਿਉ ਜਲ ਦੁਧ ਭਿੰਨ ਭਿੰਨ ਕਾਢੈ ਚੁਣਿ ਹੰਸੁਲਾ ਤਿਉ ਦੇਹੀ ਤੇ ਚੁਣਿ ਕਾਢੈ ਸਾਧੂ ਹਉਮੈ ਤਾਤਿ ॥੨॥ (sggs 1264).

  2. The word WAH-GURU is not Hari Ka Naam or Raam Ka Naam as per Gurmat.
    Agreed but then
    What is Gurmati Raam Naamu ..This should be clarified.

  3. ਭਰਮੇ ਭਾਹਿ ਨ ਵਿਝਵੈ ਜੇ ਭਵੈ ਦਿਸੰਤਰ ਦੇਸੁ ॥ ਪੰਨਾ ੨੨
    As per my understanding the ਭਾਹਿ is same as Trishna.
    Bharam being is the Primary Cause of ਭਾਹਿ.

    ਮਨੂਆ ਡੋਲੈ ਦਹ ਦਿਸ ਧਾਵੈ ਬਿਨੁ ਰਤ ਆਤਮ ਗਿਆਨਾ ॥ ਪੰਨਾ ੧੦੧੩
    And is due to lack of Aatam gian within our outer consciousness (ਮਨੂਆ ).

    This has been summed up by Mehulla 5 in the Sehaskriti Shalok : 42
    ਛਲੰ ਛਿਦ੍ਰੰ ਕੋਟਿ ਬਿਘਨੰ ਅਪਰਾਧੰ ਕਿਲਬਿਖ ਮਲੰ ॥
    ਭਰਮ ਮੋਹੰ ਮਾਨ ਅਪਮਾਨੰ ਮਦੰ ਮਾਯਾ ਬਿਆਪਿਤੰ ॥
    ਮ੍ਰਿਤਯ ਜਨਮ ਭ੍ਰਮੰਤਿ ਨਰਕਹ ਅਨਿਕ ਉਪਾਵੰ ਨ ਸਿਧਯਤੇ ॥
    ਨਿਰਮਲੰ ਸਾਧ ਸੰਗਹ ਜਪੰਤਿ ਨਾਨਕ ਗੋਪਾਲ ਨਾਮੰ ॥
    ਰਮੰਤਿ ਗੁਣ ਗੋਬਿੰਦ ਨਿਤ ਪ੍ਰਤਹ ॥੪੨॥

    The understanding (Jap) of
    Har Ka Naam;
    Raam Ka Naam;
    Gopal Ka Naam;
    from within Gurbani is the real antidote for ਭਰਮ or ਭਾਹਿ.

    Please Note: The word WAH-GURU is not Hari Ka Naam or Raam Ka Naam as per Gurmat.

  4. I understand that the only one is the reference for TRISHNAA .
    Haumai is being refered as a ROG as a separate and different from a fire.

  5. It seems ਗੁਝੀ ਭਾਹਿ – is only one type of fire not several fires – the internal one and subtle fire of Haumai ( how me /self – originates – reflections could help)
    ਭਾਹਿ ਬਲੰਦੜੀ ਬੁਝਿ ਗਈ ਰਖੰਦੜੋ ਪ੍ਰਭੁ ਆਪਿ ॥ //ਅੰਤਰਿ ਭਾਹਿ ਤਿਸੈ ਤੂ ਰਖੁ ॥// this self inflated fire likely cannot be extinguished by self–thus seeking grace, protection and companionship ਹਰਿ ਸੰਗਿ ਰਾਤੇ ਭਾਹਿ ਨ ਜਲੈ ॥

  6. You have explained one of the key messages of Gurbani very beautifully! Thank you.

  7. Bhai Harbans Lal ji
    The word ਭਾਹਿ is SINGULAR(FEMININE GENDER) not PLURAL therefore logically FIRE is correct.

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